Critique of Web-based Orientation Materials
Based on the information that is known about orientation material as well as web-based training materials, I will now critique this platform and how it enhances or takes away from the processing of messages. This next section will look at five key areas: (1) the cost savings compared to traditional training, (2) the technology gap for those individuals that potentially lack in computer skills, (3) the users ability to work at an individual pace, (4) the engagement element of visual communication, and (5) over all processing of information in a web-based platform.
To compare the cost of traditional orientation cost to web-based learn materials, Ward, et al. (2001) suggests that it is much more cost effective to produce web-based training materials rather than classroom styled materials. Cost savings do not just result from saving at the printer, but also in training instructors and the cost of staff (Ward, et al. 2001). Although, one must take into consideration the cost of developing the training materials – programs to purchase and staff to develop the content and design the training features. Scholar, Mitchell and Savill-Smith (2004) in a book concerning computer-base video games geared for learning, state “in training and educational settings it is suggested that they can reduce training time and instructor load, for example affording opportunities for drill and practice” Prior to transitioning to a web-based platform the organization must taken into consideration the cost and benefits of a given program.
Unfortunately, there are some negative aspects to web-based orientation. Harrell and Decker (2007) examined the success of library orientation training, based on students’ computer self-efficacy or the belief in ones’ own ability to successfully complete a computer related task. A total of 300 community college students were surveyed for the study. The researchers concluded, based on the results of the study, that age, gender, computer usage, computer training, and library orientation effectiveness all play an important role in computer confidence. The researchers did not directly study orientation materials; but, simply put, they examined the significance of computer confidence in relation to the successfulness of computer-based orientation materials. This study is significant to the present research because it specifically addresses the two key components – (1) the growing potential for web-based resources and (2) the assessment of successful orientation materials as a reflection of computer literacy (specific to library orientation training). This is vastly, significant in a diverse work environment where computer skills vary. Although, one could argue that this aspect is becoming less of an issue in a society where computer and Internet access is becoming a standard skill.
One unique aspect to any online training is the ability for users to work at...